Uncle Tungsten

Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

Oliver Sacks

‘If you did not think that gallium and iridium could move you, this superb book will change your mind’ The Times

In Uncle Tungsten Sacks evokes, with warmth and wit, his upbringing in wartime England. He tells of the large science-steeped family who fostered his early fascination with chemistry. There follow his years at boarding school where, though unhappy, he developed the intellectual curiosity that would shape his later life. And we hear of his return to London, an emotionally bereft ten-year-old who found solace in his passion for learning. Uncle Tungsten radiates all the delight and wonder of a boy’s adventures, and is an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary young mind.

‘The amalgamation of personal recollection and scientific history makes a luminous, inspiring book’ Sunday Telegraph

Uncle Tungsten is really about the raw joy of scientific understanding; what it is like to be a precocious child discovering the alchemical secrets of reality for the first time: the sheer thrill of finding intelligible patterns in nature’ Guardian

Genre: Non-Fiction
ISBN: 978033052366001
Published: 09/05/2012

Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks was born in 1933 in London and was educated at Queen's College, Oxford. He completed his medical training at San Francisco's Mount Zion Hospital and at UCLA before moving to New York, where he soon encountered the patients whom he would write about in his book Awakenings.


Dr Sacks spent almost fifty years working as a neurologist and wrote many books, includingThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a HatMusicophilia, and Hallucinations, about the strange neurological predicaments and conditions of his patients. The New York Times referred to him as 'the poet laureate of medicine', and over the years he received many awards, including honours from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Royal College of Physicians. In 2008, he was appointed Commander of the British Empire. His memoir, On the Move, was published shortly before his death in August 2015.

For more information on Dr. Sacks’s work, please visit www.oliversacks.com.

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